Police believe that they have dealt a serious blow to the organisers of a spate of armed robberies on the island over the Christmas holiday with the arrest of the notorious Aldin ‘Ossie’ Phillip.
Regarded as one of the most feared gangsters on the island, “Ossie” is now back at the Richmond Hill Prisons after tasting freedom for less than six months.
Phillip, along with four other men, all from St. George’s are accused of being involved in a spate of robberies, most of which occurred between November 2015 and January 1, 2016.
The others are Keron Belgrave and Trish Warren, of Grand Anse, Donnel Bonaparte of Mt. Rush, and Isaiah Jones of River Road.
All five accused persons who range in ages between 18 and 40 years, are facing various charges including robbery with violence, attempt to commit a crime, and, conspiracy to commit a crime, to wit robbery with violence and stealing from the person.
“Ossie” has been charged with four counts of robbery with violence, one count each of attempt to commit a crime and conspiracy to commit a crime, to wit robbery with violence.
Bonaparte, who was the subject of a wanted man bulletin, has been charged with five counts of robbery with violence, one count each of attempt to commit a crime and conspiracy to commit a crime, to wit robbery with violence.
Belgrave has been charged with three counts of robbery with violence while Jones is facing two counts of robbery with violence, one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, to wit robbery with violence, and one count of stealing from the person.
Warren has been charged with only one count of robbery with violence.
Police have linked “Ossie” and Bonaparte as the persons allegedly involved in the robbery of a St. George businessman in the Belmont area on December 22, 2015, during which cash in excess of $16, 000.00 were reportedly stolen.
Bonaparte is also jointly charged with Jones in relation to a December 28 robbery with violence staged at the Chinese Housing Scheme at Mt. Gay.
The suspects appeared before the No. 2 Magistrate’s Court last week Friday before Magistrate Tahira Gellineau and Head of the Police Prosecution team, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godfrey Victor objected strenuously to a bail application made by veteran Attorney-at-Law Anselm Clouden.
ASP Victor described the charges as serious offenses, which involved the use of firearms, and described the alleged crimes committed as a well-orchestrated scheme involving the suspects.
The Police Prosecutor strengthened his objection to bail by indicating to the court that the five accused are jointly charged on different occasions, at different places, and different times.
He pointed out that “Ossie” who is believed to be the mastermind behind the string of robberies, and only came out of prison serving time for attempted murder, burglary, robbery and robbery with violence is involved in six of the charges, while Bonaparte has seven charges of robbery with violence laid against him.
In 2011, Phillip received a ten-year jail sentence from Madam Justice Clare Henry after he entered a guilty plea for a crime he committed in 2009.
It was reported that Ossie who was at the time wearing a mask and armed with a gun, launched an attack at the home of the Antoine family at La Poterie, St. Andrew’s on February 23, 2009, and got away with EC $300.00 and US $2.00.
During the robbery, a member of the family, Reginald Charles was shot three times causing him to spend 15 days in hospital.
Originally from Sauteurs, “Ossie” had spent a number of years in neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago where he was allegedly involved in gang activities before returning to his homeland to link up with other underworld figures.
ASP Victor informed Magistrate Gellineau that in recent times the use of firearms to commit crime has become very prevalent on the island unlike past robberies that involved the use of knives.
Attorney Clouden informed the court that he is only representing only Phillip and Bonaparte and not the other three men who were jointly charged.
After listening attentively to the argument put forward, Magistrate Gellineau agreed that the offenses are very serious and remanded all of the five accused to the Richmond Hill Prison.
They are due back in court on February 5th.
Meanwhile, two teenagers have been jointly charged in connection with two school break-ins in St. George’s.
A 14-year old student and a 16-year old unemployed youth are faced with two counts each of housebreaking, stealing, and housebreaking and stealing.
The youngsters are accused of stealing over $600.00 worth of articles from the St. Mary’s Junior School at Tempe, and Alpha Junior School at Mt. Parnassus, St. George’s, between December 30, 2015 and January 11, 2016.
Both teens have been placed on bail and are due back in Court on February 26.